A member of the Finance, Mines and Energy Committees of Parliament, John Abdulai Jinapor, is warning the government about a possible outbreak of social unrest and upheavals in the wake of intense economic hardship citizens are being subjected to.
Mr Jinapor says the government has committed to not increasing wages in a commensurate manner whereas fuel prices, taxes, and utility tariffs among others have been going up.
He blamed this trend partly on the Bank of Ghana’s strategy of increasing the prime to tackle inflation.
He explained that this will also result in monetary and fiscal tightening.
According to the Yapei Kusawgu MP, this will push a lot of people into the “poverty bracket” which will degenerate into chaos.
“Even wages – they’ve committed that they’ll not be increasing wages in a commensurate manner. So you’re going to be seeing your taxes go up, you’re going to be seeing your wages not being increased in a commensurate manner, you’re going to be seeing petrol, diesel at the pumps going up, you’re going to see electricity tariffs going up.
“You’re going to see more people in the poverty bracket. So when you read this document carefully, it tells you that government must prepare for social unrest and social upheavals,” he said on JoyNews’ Newsfile on Saturday.
Citing the Bank of Ghana’s Monetary Policy Committee report, Mr Jinapor said investment has reduced from “80 billion to 64 billion.” This he said is underpinned by the government’s tight fiscal consolidation measures.
Mr Jinapor does not believe that the first tranche of the country’s $3 billion bailout request transferred to the Bank of Ghana is capable of reducing the economic burden on Ghanaians.
He explained that it is not about how fast or slow the IMF deal has been concluded but rather the impact of the programme on citizens.
According to him, the IMF programme has rippling effects, and that the $600 million transferred to the Bank of Ghana was just to see how the country can restructure its debt considering that it could not achieve same as a requirement for the programme.